In memoriam: Arnys Clifton 'Cliff' Lilly Jr., dedicated alumnus
August 18, 2011
Arnys Clifton “Cliff” Lilly Jr. of Chesterfield, Va. – who earned bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Virginia Tech and served on advisory boards within the College of Science and its predecessor, the College of Arts and Sciences – died Aug. 16.
Lilly was born in 1934 in Beckley, W.Va. and earned a bachelor’s in geological sciences from Virginia Tech in 1956. He earned a master’s in physics from Carnegie Mellon in 1963 and a Ph.D. in that subject from Virginia Tech in 1989. Lilly retired as vice president of technology assessment at Philip Morris USA, after working 38 years for the company.
He was generous and highly involved alumnus at Virginia Tech, having served many years on advisory boards for the Department of Physics as well as other alumni boards. Lilly served on the dean’s roundtable for the College of Arts and Sciences prior to its 2003 division into the College of Science and College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Afterward, he continued to serve on the roundtable for the College of Science, which has a faculty fellowship named for him.
"Cliff Lilly was a friend of the college in every sense of the word," said the college's dean, Lay Nam Chang. "His wise advice, generous support, and genuine enthusiasm for the twin aims of our profession, research and teaching, was extraordinary. I can think of no more dedicated alumnus, and he will be sorely missed."
Professor of Chemistry Harry Dorn, who was appointed the A.C. Lilly Jr. Faculty Fellow in Nanoscience in September 2010, remembered Lilly fondly.
"Cliff had a keen intellect and wonderful personality that conveyed interest to the individual no matter if the conversation was about science, business or family," Dorn said.
Along with his wife of 55 years, Agnes, Lilly was a member of Virginia Tech’s Ut Prosim Society of extraordinarily generous donors and Legacy Society of those who make planned gifts. He is survived by his wife, daughter Diane Gee, son Greg Lilly, son-in-law Ed Gee, daughters-in-law Ann Lilly and Karen Lilly, and four grandchildren.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at the Morrissett Funeral Home, 6500 Iron Bridge Rd, Richmond, Va. The funeral service will immediately follow. Interment will be at Dale Memorial Park, 10201 Newbys Bridge Rd., Chesterfield.
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- Referrals to a campus cleric may be done through the Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787.